Friday, January 9, 2009

Should Christians Engage In Hypnosis?

Leviticus 19:26
Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.

I recently read the article below concerning Christians practicing hypnosis and it offers many excellent points. Folks, stay away from this stuff. A person I am related to suggested I use hypnosis to treat my chronic insomnia; and him and I frequently have disputed about astrology as well (check out Isaiah 47:9-14 to see some of what God says of those engaging in various occultic practices). In fact, it seems this relative only brings up controversial issues to rile me up—-no wonder I don’t like forward to certain family gatherings. Ok,… back to the issue at hand. You have to look at the totality of the Word of God. Hypnosis is not medical—it is an evil occultic practice dressed up in the notions of psychology and medicine. Yet most people fall for this practice unaware that it opens up the door to demonic influences.


Christian or Occult?

In these days of supposed great stress and strain, hypnosis claims to offer relief for the masses. Hypnosis has become the therapeutic tool health professionals are pulling out of the bag to battle smoking and weight problems; manage anxiety, fears, and phobias; relieve pain; overcome depression; improve a person's sex life; cure maladies such as asthma and hayfever; undergo chemotherapy without nausea; prompt injuries to heal more quickly; and improve grades. Otherwise legitimate medical doctors use hypnosis as part of the healing process to reduce the side effects from drugs, to help speed patient recovery, and reduce post-operative discomfort. Dentists are using hypnotic techniques in conjunction with nitrous oxide to relax patients, minimize pain and bleeding, and control patient gas reflex during procedures.

The sad part of it all is that even some unsuspecting Christians are willing to "try it." A 1992 newspaper ad placed by a "Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist" (there is even an "American Society for Clinical Hypnosis") made some amazing statements that indicate just how unbiblical (i.e., New Age) the technique of hypnosis is:

"Hypnosis is the most effective method of changing the way you think, feel and act. When you align your subconscious mind -- your inner voice -- with your conscious mind, you erase conflicting beliefs that hold you back. You can then move forward, without sabotaging yourself. Clinical hypnotic techniques guide you to a relaxed, peaceful state of mind. You remain in total control while learning how to use the power of your full mind to create a strong desire to accomplish your goal. You can change your life."

- Hypnosis is nothing new. It has been used for thousands of years by witchdoctors, spirit mediums, shamans, Hindus, Buddhists, and yogis. But the increasing popularity of hypnosis for healing in the secular world has influenced many in the professing church to accept hypnosis as a means of treatment. Both non-Christian and professing Christian medical doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, and psychologists are recommending and using hypnosis.

Although a hypnotist may encourage only a light or medium trance, he cannot prevent a hypnotized subject from spontaneously plunging into the danger zone, which may include a sense of separation from the body, seeming clairvoyance, hallucination, mystical states similar to those described by Eastern mystics, and even what hypnotism researcher Ernest Hilgard describes as "demonic possession." We would argue that hypnosis is occultic at any trance level, but at its deeper levels, hypnosis is unmistakably occult.

- There is some controversy as to whether or not a hypnotist can cause a person to do something against his will. Many hypnotists say categorically that the will cannot be violated. However, the evidence is otherwise. Hypnosis heightens a person's suggestibility to the point that the subject will believe almost anything the hypnotist tells him -- even to the point of hallucinating at the hypnotist's suggestion. During hypnosis, a person's critical abilities are reduced in such a way as to create what has been called a "trance logic" that undiscerningly accepts what would normally seem irrational, illogical, and incompatible.

Because almost anything can be made to seem plausible to someone in the trance state, it is possible for a hypnotized person to act against his will -- to do what he would not do outside of the hypnotic state. Hypnosis bypasses the will by placing personal responsibility outside of objective, rational, critical choice. With normal evaluating abilities submerged, suggestibility heightened, and rational restraint reduced, the will is seriously hampered and is, at the very least, capable of being violated.

- One popular use of hypnosis has been that of searching the memory by "going back into childhood." Some patients even describe experiencing what they believe to be their life in the womb and subsequent birth. (This is impossible, however, because of the neurological, scientific fact that the myelin sheathing is too underdeveloped in the prenatal, natal, and early postnatal brain to store such memories.) Still others describe some sort of disembodied state and then what they identify as past lives and former identities. How much of this is created by heightened suggestibility, unrestrained imagination, trance hallucination, or demonic intervention cannot be determined. Furthermore, the Bible clearly contradicts past lives and reincarnation -- "It is appointed unto man once to die" (Heb. 9:27).

Hypnosis is not even reliable with recent recall. What is "remembered" under hypnosis has often been created, reconstructed, or enhanced during the state of heightened suggestibility. Research indicates that after hypnosis, a person is unable to distinguish between a true recollection and what he imagined or created under the heightened suggestibility. Hypnosis is just as likely to bring forth false impressions as true accounts of past events. (Individuals can and do lie under hypnosis!) Hypnosis is thus more likely to contaminate the memory than to help a person remember what really happened.

Besides past life hypnotic therapy, some practitioners are doing future life hypnotic therapy. The hypnotized person supposedly sees future events, solves murders, reveals the future fates of well-known personalities, etc. One involved in this hypnotic time travel must ask himself, "Where is the line of demarcation between the demonic and the divine, between the realm of Satan and Science? At what point does the door of darkness open and the devil gain a foothold?"

- In today's landscape of promises for self-fulfillment, self-mastery, personal well-being, and quick fixes for problems of living, one could easily find oneself in an environment conducive to hypnosis. One such environment would be the regression into childhood memories (see above). Another would be in Large Group Awareness Training. The Forum (formerly est), Life Spring, and Momentus are the names of some of the more well-known large-group training seminars that promise life-transforming results. Using many of the ideas and techniques of the encounter movement, such group sessions attempt to alter participants' present way of thinking (mind set, world view, personal faith, etc.) through intense personal and group experiences. Some have marathon meetings that last numerous hours and take advantage of fatigue working together with much repetition, group pressure, and various psychological techniques, some of which attack personal belief systems and cause mental confusion. The confusion technique, which is also a hypnotic device, may be used to disorient the subject to make him more responsive to cues. Michael Yapko says: "In the confusion technique, you give a person more information than they could possibly keep up with, you get them to question everything, you make them feel uncertain as a way of building up their motivation to attain certainty." While hypnosis may not be intended or admitted in such large group training sessions, the possibility is very strong for participants to experience hypnotic suggestion, dissociation, and impaired personal judgment. (Other activities and settings where hypnosis may occur also include: music, church services, prayer and meditation, medical offices, and self-help tapes.)

- Since some doctors and many psychologists use hypnosis, most believe that hypnosis is medical and, therefore, scientific. The label "medical" before the word hypnosis makes hypnosis seem benevolent and safe. Even some well-known professing Christians (e.g., the late Walter Martin of CRI, and Josh McDowell & John Stewart in their book Understanding the Occult) allege that hypnosis can be helpful if practiced by medical doctors whose intent is good rather than evil. However, Donald Hebb says in "Psychology Today/The State of the Science" that "hypnosis has persistently lacked satisfactory explanation." At the present time, there is no agreed-upon scientific explanation of exactly what hypnosis is. Psychiatry professor Thomas Szasz describes hypnosis as the therapy of "a fake science." We cannot call hypnosis a science, but we can say that it has been an integral part of the occult for thousands of years. (Although hypnosis has been investigated by scientific means, and there are some measurable criteria concerning the trance itself, hypnosis is not a science.)

No one knows exactly how hypnosis "works," other than the obvious "placebo effect" -- the successful use of "false feedback" in the same manner that feedback is used in the occult techniques common to acupuncture, biofeedback, and psychotherapy. But compounding the word hypnosis with the word therapy does not lift the practice from the occult to the scientific. The white coat may be a more respectable garb than feathers and face paint, but the basics are the same. Hypnosis is hypnosis, whether it is called medical hypnosis, hypnotherapy, autosuggestion, or anything else. Hypnosis in the hands of a medical doctor is as scientific as a dowsing rod in the hands of a civil engineer.

Trances brought about through medical doctors are not significantly different from occultic hypnosis. In their text on hypnosis, which is used in medical schools, two well-known researchers state categorically: "The reader should not be confused by the supposed differences between hypnosis, Zen, Yoga, and other Eastern healing methodologies. Although the rituals for each differs, they are fundamentally the same." E. Fuller Torrey, a research psychiatrist, aligns hypnotic techniques with witchcraft. He also says, "Hypnosis is one aspect of the yoga techniques of therapeutic meditation." Medical doctor William Kroger states, "The fundamental principles of Yoga are, in many respects, similar to those of hypnosis." To protect the scientific label for hypnosis he declares, "Yoga is not considered a religion, but rather a 'science' to achieve mastery of the mind and cure physical and emotional sickness." Then he makes a strange confession, "There are many systems to Yoga, but the central aim -- union with God -- is common to all of them and is the method by which it achieves cure." Obviously then, just because hypnosis is used by medical doctors does not mean that it is free of its occult nature. More and more medical practitioners are being influenced by ancient, occult medical practices. The holistic healing movement has successfully wed Western medicine to Eastern mysticism.

We then raise the following questions about the use of hypnosis by a medical doctor: How can one tell the long-range spiritual effect of even a well-meaning medical doctor's use of hypnosis on a Christian patient? Would an M.D. with an anti-Christian or occult bias in any way affect a Christian through trance treatment? How about the use of a medical hypnotherapist who belongs to the Satanist church? What about an M.D. hypnotherapist who uses past or future lives therapy as a means of mental-emotional or physical relief? These and other questions need to be answered before subjecting oneself to such treatment, even, and especially, in the hands of a medical doctor or psychologist.

- Those who might feel a bit nervous about being hypnotized by another often tend to feel safe with self-hypnosis. (Although those in a self-induced hypnotic trance may gain a certain amount of control and exercise some degree of choice, they, nevertheless, do not retain their normal means of evaluation of reality and rational restraint.) Teachers of self-hypnosis will generally try to assure people that hypnosis is simply focused attention, increased concentration, relaxation, visualization, and imagination. Yet such activities are precisely the useful means of going into the trance. Furthermore, they continue on at a different level during the trance. By imagining one is leaving his body, one may move into the trance with the kind of hallucination and trance logic of really seeming to be out of the body.

A medical doctor, teaching a class in self-hypnosis, instructed his students to go into a hypnotic trance, leave their bodies, and then go back in to explore various parts of the body. All of this was for the purpose of self-diagnosis and self-healing. Occultist Edgar Cayce also used self-hypnosis to diagnose disease and prescribe treatment. Therefore, self-hypnosis can be as occult and demonic an activity as a trance directed by a hypnotist.

- One researcher makes some interesting observations concerning why he would classify hypnosis as part of the occult (Peace, Prosperity, and the Coming Holocaust, pp. 119-120):

"One reason for calling hypnotherapy a religious ritual is the fact that it produces mysterious effects that leave any investigator who approaches it as science thoroughly puzzled: (1) under hypnosis administered by psychiatrists, persons who have never had any contact with UFOs can be stimulated to 'remember' UFO abductions that conform in detail to those described by supposed genuine abductees; (2) hypnosis also leads to spontaneous 'memories' of past and future lives, about one-fifth involving existence on other planets; (3) hypnotic trance also duplicates the experiences common under the stimulation of psychedelic drugs, TM, and other forms of Yoga and Eastern meditation; (4) hypnosis also creates spontaneous psychic powers, clairvoyance, out-of-body experiences, and the whole range of occult phenomena; and (5) the experience of so-called clinical death is also produced under hypnosis.

"Two conclusions that most investigators find very distasteful seem nevertheless to be inescapable: (1) there is a common source behind all occult phenomena, including UFOs, that seems to be intelligently and deliberately orchestrating a clever deception for its own purposes; and (2) hypnosis, or the power of suggestion, is at the very heart of this scheme"

The connection between hypnosis and Eastern mysticism is clear. At varying depths of the hypnotic trance, patients describe experiences that are identical to the cosmic consciousness and self-realization induced by yogic trance. They experience first of all a deep peace, then detachment from the body, then release from identity with one's own small self to merge with the universe, and the feeling that they are everything and have no limitation upon what they can experience or become: i.e., God-consciousness "in which time, space, and ego are supposedly transcended, leaving pure awareness of the primal nothingness from which all manifested creation comes."

- Hypnosis began as part of the occult and false religion. The Bible speaks out strongly against all practices of false religion and the occult. God desires His people to turn to Him in need, not to those who practice sorcery, divination, or enchantment. He warns His people about following after mediums, wizards, enchanters, charmers, and those who have a familiar spirit (Deut. 18:9-14). Hypnosis, as it is practiced today, may very well be the same as what is identified as "enchantment" in the Bible (Lev. 19:26 KJV).

In hypnotism, faith is shifted from God and His Word to the hypnotist and his technique. God speaks to people through the conscious, rational mind. He commands individuals as creatures who make conscious, volitional choices. He sent His Holy Spirit to indwell Christians to enable them to trust and obey Him through love and conscious choice. Hypnosis, on the other hand, operates on the basis of imagination, illusion, hallucination, and deception. Jesus warned His followers about deception. After a person has opened his mind to deception through hypnosis, he may become even more vulnerable to other forms of spiritual deception.

Hypnosis can generate Satan's counterfeits of true religious exercise. If hypnosis generates any form of faith and worship not directed toward the God of the Bible, any person who subjects himself to hypnotism may be playing the harlot in the spiritual realm. (See Lev. 19:26,31; 20:6,27; Deut. 18:9-14; 2 Ki 21:6; 2 Chron. 33:6; Isa. 47:9-13; Jer. 27:9.)

- Hypnotism is demonic at its worst and potentially dangerous at its best. At its worst, it opens an individual to psychic experiences and satanic possession. When mediums go into hypnotic trances and contact the "dead," when clairvoyants reveal information which they could not possibly know, when fortunetellers through self-hypnosis reveal the future, Satan is most certainly at work.

Are people in the church being enticed to enter the twilight zone of the occult because hypnosis is now called "science" and "medicine"? Let those who call the occult "science" tell us what the difference is between medical and occultic hypnosis. And let those Christians who call it "scientific" explain why they also recommend that it be performed only by a Christian. If hypnosis is science indeed, why the added requirement of Christianity for the practitioner? There is a scarcity of adequate long-term studies of those who have been hypnotized. And there have been none which have examined the effect on the individual's resulting faith or interest in the occult.

Before hypnotism becomes the new panacea from the pulpit, followed by a plethora of books on the subject, its claims, methods, and long-term results should be considered. Arthur Shapiro has said, "One man's religion is another man's superstition and one man's magic is another man's science." Hypnosis has become "scientific" and "medical" for some Christians with little proof of its validity, longevity of its results, or understanding of its nature. Because hypnosis has always been an integral part of the occult, because it is not a science, because of its known harmful effects, and because of its potential for spiritual deception, the wise Christian will completely avoid it, even for "medical" purposes. It is obvious that hypnosis is lethal if used for evil purposes. However, we contend that hypnosis is potentially lethal for whatever purpose it is used. The moment one surrenders himself to the doorway of the occult, even in the halls of "science" and "medicine," he is vulnerable to the powers of darkness.

*Click title to go to website, and for proper citation.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Electoral Maps & Election Results

I recently discovered this site-click here, some of you likely know about it—--it has an impressive layout on the United States presidential elections and indicates the electoral votes for each state. Presented is a timeline which goes back to the very first election in 1789 won by George Washington. Interesting to note--the shakier the economy during a particular election year, the greater the propensity to elect a democratic president, as with Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 who went on to serve four consecutive terms. Also interesting is to see the map of the United States change over time... it is a good source for finding quick historical facts on U.S. elections.

*Just a side note on other stuff:
Some of the latter December blog entries (and Jan 1) are completely in bold font, and with colors not displaying properly--makes it hard to adequately segment the articles. I have yet to determine the cause, but it appears it is only a problem for those using IE browsers; however the core issue seems to be stemming from Blogger. I also notice the articles under News Trust on the side panel generate a pop up window to register--you can ignore it, and X out of it; and the news story will come up without you having to register. I will likely change that widget in the future...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Struggling Churches In Hard Times

Church foreclosures will no doubt be an ever-increasing problem in this tough economic climate as the article below indicates. Interestingly, not too long ago Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma laid off about 100 employees; yet in light of the layoffs and in the midst of ashes from the scandal rocking it; the University recently implemented a fair size construction project on campus. ( Expect good things--- that something good will happen to you! Release your seed(s) today! ) In all seriousness, I am not sure what the project is about. Maybe a large donation came through to build something… etc, as that seems more plausible given the layoffs and reported money woes…But back to the issue at hand; times are tough for many churches and many members of those churches. Even some of the mega-churches infamous for preaching the prosperity gospel have foreclosed on their properties. Hmmmm...something is amiss there.


*photo above appears with article

Making Cuts While Keeping Faith:
As churches deal with the economic downturn and cash shortfalls, they face hard decisions on spending
By Mary Giunca | Journal Reporter

Back in April, New Liberty Full Gospel Baptist Ministry had to move after its landlord raised the rent from $1,200 a month to $1,800 a month.

Now with donations at the church down about $10,000 from this time last year, the church might have to move again in search of lower rent, said the Rev. Linda Beal, the church's pastor.

Her church has about 30 members, and any economic downturn affects them quickly.

"The smaller churches don't have a backup plan," she said. "There's no bailout for us."

Across the region, churches and religious organizations are struggling to cope with cash shortfalls and an uncertain economy, even while encouraging the faithful not to cut back on their giving during the recession.

Some churches are freezing salaries, leaving staff positions vacant, or scaling back expansion plans.

There are no road maps for churches to follow during times like these.

Empty Tomb Inc., a Christian research group, recently released a report that studied recessions since 1968 and their effects on church-member giving. In some of the recessions, church-member giving declined and in the others, giving increased.

"You're a little nervous right now until you see how things are going to shake out," said the Rev. Jim Pollard, the associational missionary for the Pilot Mountain Baptist Association, which represents 91 congregations, most of which are in Forsyth County. The association helps congregations find staff members, mediate differences, coordinate disaster-relief programs and develop evangelism programs.

Beginning in September, the association began to hear from churches that were concerned about how they were going to end up for the year. Some churches were reporting shortfalls, and others had dipped into their cash reserves, he said.

Tough times were also reflected in the association's three toy stores, Pollard said, which open once a year at Christmas and give away toys for children up to 17 years old.

Congregations give money or toys to the effort he said, which are then sorted by volunteers. This year, there were three times as many applicants who wanted to receive the toys, but donations were down 20 percent from last year, he said.

If the recession continues into next year, churches may have to take more drastic measures, he said.

"I think we'll have some churches that will either have to close or lay off staffs," he said.

But he is reluctant to paint a picture that is all doom and gloom, he said.

Churches have a chance to make a positive influence on society with a message of hope and help, he said.

The Rev. Bill Ireland, the pastor of Ardmore Baptist Church, said that his church is about 12 percent below where it expected to be at this point in the year. Ireland said he noticed a gap earlier in the year, and the church started to cut back on spending then.

For the Rev. Michael Brown, the senior minister at Centenary United Methodist Church, the situation was serious enough to write to church members about the $928,400 needed to finish out 2008.

Brown asked members to do their best to fulfill pledges and commitments for the year.

In the letter, he also said that the church is requiring approval of all expenses over $500, closing the building earlier on some nights, and taking its bulletin online, except for those who specifically request a print copy.

The Rev. Wayne Burkette, the president of the Provincial Elders' Conference of the Moravian Church, Southern Province, said that the recession cuts across all socioeconomic lines in the 60 fellowships and congregations in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Virginia.

"It's hard to predict," he said. "We probably haven't seen a recession like this -- maybe even in my lifetime."

He has not heard of any church putting expansion plans on hold, Burkette said, but everyone is looking at next year's budget carefully and wondering if end-of-year contributions will be sufficient to meet their budgets. A few churches have cut back on the donations they make to the province.

Many Moravian churches make specific appeals in conjunction with Christmas lovefeasts, he said, so the province won't have a full financial picture until after the holidays.

Tommy Cole, the director of Sunnyside Ministry of the Moravian Church, said that donations for the month of November were a little ahead of last year. The ministry has a clothes closet and food pantry, and it helps its clients with money for rent and other necessities.

"I've had a lot of people coming in here saying, ‘I want to make a donation. I'm not going to buy gifts. I'm going to make a donation to Sunnyside.'"

When Cole talks to local groups or sends out letters, he said, he stresses concern for one's neighbors and asks people to rethink how they spend Christmas. People seem to respond well.

"I think people are asking, ‘How did we get to this point that we're seeing how much we can blow on Christmas gifts, instead of taking some of whatever our budget is on Christmas and spending it on the needs of the people?'"

Sunnyside has cut out such discretionary spending as buying furniture and building maintenance, he said.

The ministry has a position open right now; it will wait until the end of January to fill it, and it might decide at that point to go with a part-time employee, he said.

The Rev. Haywood Gray said he recently attended a meeting of the N.C. Council of Churches at which he sat around a table with representatives of a dozen different denominations. Gray is the executive secretary-treasurer of the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, which is the state's largest predominantly black body of Baptists.

Gray said he suppressed a chuckle as he listened to the tales of hardship from mainline Protestant denominations that were feeling a pinch for the first time in a long time. "This time is not new for most of the folks our convention represents," he said. "Job losses, foreclosures, homelessness and those issues are normal fare for our convention's churches.

"I don't think the sense of helplessness and hopelessness is as profound because we've seen these cycles before."

The convention doesn't keep formal statistics on member churches, Gray said, but from conversations with pastors, he senses that most of the congregations are seeing a 15 percent to 20 percent drop in contributions compared with last year.

When times get tough, he said, churches tend to cut such programs as sightseeing trips for children, but they will continue to support missions and such causes as feeding the hungry. "I've not seen distress, dismay," Gray said. "I've seen discomfort, certainly. We sort of see it as another lean time to embrace the faith and do what we're called to do."

Friday, January 2, 2009

Todd Bentley Plows New Ground

Red alert! Yes, that’s right, the NAR’s latest golden boy of the rotten fruits farming community has produced a new myspace page and what appears to be some sort of new ministry website called Sound of Fire? Yesterday while perusing Sola De Gloria I learned of it; and thought to myself it did not take long for him to set up shop elsewhere. Even auto thieves would be impressed. You can read more about it there and at End Times Prophetic which have more information and links regarding this latest farce of Bentley’s. Alas, what does it take for people to wake up and smell the coffee? The unrepentant Bentley has failed the Word test over and over again while lining his pockets with “coins”. And his character or lack thereof is rotten and proven rotten. It’s mind boggling people support this deceptive man and his compadres despite how obvious the shenanigans and treachery. Naturally the false prophets and apostles have no problem with him. But if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, …it must be a duck. You will know them by their fruits. Lord help them, and help us all.

Matthew 7:15-20
15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Examine Yourself To Be In The Faith

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

The following article seemed fitting to start off this blog for 2009. And I am sure many will be able to relate to it. I certainly relate to it. Too often in my past, I assumed those in church leadership positions must know more, must be more spiritual. Too often, I never questioned their speeches or products, and I consumed and thereby spread their poison. I am committing myself to question what I believe and why I believe it, as self-examination of my beliefs is critical to leading me away from error and detoxification. I may well change my position on certain things over time for I will endeavor to become more established in the Word and thereby in truth. A firm foundation comes from the Word of God, and not in the philosophies and traditions of men. As I write now this verse comes to me: "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" 1 Peter 2:2 . Many "meat eating" leaders condescendingly quote this to their flock while steeped in falsity. Yet it is not meat they eat, but regurgitated cud grown out of deception. Pride will truly be the downfall of many, for pride will prevent a person from questioning what they believe to be true, and to dwell in smugness. Laziness will do that too, but riding on the coat tails of other people's sermons and prophetic words...will not take you far. Read this great article directly below:


Another Jesus? A Different Gospel? A Different Spirit?
Rita Sanders, March 25, 2007

v "For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!" 2 Corinthians 11:3-5
v "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1

These are the days of great and maybe final deception! I am eternally grateful to Almighty God for granting me repentance and leading my family out of the deceptive and self-centered gospel of greed being promoted in the pulpits of the churches today. Today's believers are replacing the call to "deny themselves" with the desire to pursue "their best lives now". We have ignored the command to "test the spirits" because of the perverted use of "touch not My anointed" by today's pulpiteers.

For too long, and to my shame, I "well put up with it". Why? I believed I loved God and was serving him - but the cold hard truth is I loved the things of this world more! I wanted the new house, my own business, money and all the "blessings of Abraham" I was being told was my inheritance. My heart was being trained in covetousness and I was ripe for deception and seduction by "lying spirits" disguised as the "voice of god".

After a couple of years I had stopped studying the Word of God except through the veil of deception I was now fully immersed in through false messages, tapes, books, conferences, etc. I was relying on those in the pulpit to be led by God! Like the many, many still trapped in these building projects designed to enrich the “pastors” (CEO/Owners). I was even convinced I was "hearing directly from God" and receiving "now words from the Lord". I was losing sight of the "more sure word of prophesy" I already had - the Word of God. I was no longer "testing the spirits" or "searching the scriptures daily" to see if what was being said was in line with the TRUTH. Oh, but for the MERCY OF GOD!
v "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed . ." 2 Peter 1:19 v "And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

- Luke 12:15 v "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber." 2 Peter 2:1-3

The short of it is I was "shaken" out of my slumber by a merciful and loving God. I was reminded instantly by the Spirit of God that it was the "Laodicean, wealthy and huge church" that finds Jesus OUTSIDE and knocking on the door! That remembrance sent me running back to the Word of God (and nothing but the Word of God). We cleaned our house of all the tapes, books, DVDs, etc. and trust only in the forever settled, unchanging Word of the Living God.

As I continue to be "cleansed by the washing of the water of the Word" I am able to see that it is the enemy who has transformed himself into an "angel of light" and his ministers into "ministers of righteousness!" They fill the pulpits of America!
v "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

May God grant repentance to all still under the influence of the "deceiver of the whole world!"
v "And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will." 2 Timothy 2:24-26

May God in His wrath remember mercy on "ministers" who have twisted, added to, taken from, or changed His Word which is forever settled in heaven and in doing so have led millions away from the True Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!
v "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:6-9

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!